New figures published by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) show a disturbing increase in kidnapping attempts against Israeli military personnel by Palestinian terror groups.
According to the report, there were 26 attempts to abduct Israeli soldiers in 2012. All of them were thwarted. By comparison, there were "only" 11 kidnapping attempts in 2011.
Israeli army spokesmen explained that the drastic increase had a lot to do with the prisoner exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in late 2011. Israel set free 1,027 Palestinian terrorists to win Shalit's freedom after five years in Hamas captivity.
"This gave the terrorists a big appetite," a military spokesman said.
Hamas and other Palestinian groups have openly called for the abduction of more Israeli soldiers in order to get all Palestinian prisoners out of Israeli jails.
The IDF has put strict guidelines in place to prevent an abduction, such as forbidding soldiers to hitchhike their way home. But many fear it is only a matter of time before the terrorists are again successful in nabbing a young Israeli in uniform.